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PA Students Gain Ability To Make Music With Help Of 3D Printed Prosthetics

PINE GROVE, Pa. (CNN) -- An ambitious project at a Schuylkill County high school is changing the lives of two middle schoolers.

This year, Pine Grove Area High School got a 3D printer, and a student and his teacher just finished printing out two prosthetic hands for those middle schoolers.

The high school never imagined putting its 3D printer to such good use. In its first year, the high-tech printer was used to create the proper prosthetic hands that two middle schoolers needed to learn how to play musical instruments.

Holding a guitar and actually being able to play it is a big moment for Pine Grove Area middle schooler Casandra Stewart.

"I've never been able to do this before so it's really cool to be able to experience this."

All year, the sixth grader and another seventh grader -- Andrew Mindy -- had to sit out during part of music class because they couldn't play certain instruments

At one point Andrew, desperate to play the drums, strapped sticks to his arm. "I wrapped scotch tape around it. But you know, scotch tape is not going to last very long."

No scotch tape needed now -- the nearby high school heard of the music students' problems and created prosthetic hands for them. A technology teacher at Pine Grove Area High School gave the task to his talented freshman student Nicholas Brown.

He used the school's brand new 3D printer. Brown and his teacher documented the process.

"We actually had to change his schedule, his course schedule in the freshman year to get him in here for an additional period throughout the day," said technology teacher Brad Fessler.

It took the entire school year. After several prototypes, the end result was perfect for both students.

Now with new prosthetics, both students are going to save up this summer to buy a guitar and a drums set. And the students and staff at Pine Grove Area High School tell us they never imagined their 3D printer could be put to such good use.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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